When the heart rules the head !
Everyone, i hope, lets their hearts rule their head,
and I've always had a bit of an hankering for a little
During one of these moments I came across an old
wooden vessel in the
yard of a home on the Wirral Peninsula. Don't
ask me why! One look and something told me that this
the boat. In poor shape, and under
a partial refit, I was told it would not take
much to get her back on the water again!
After arranging for a massive mobile crane we got her
out from under the garden tree and the residue of the previous
autumn's fall of leaves. A heart stopping, and traffic
stopping, moment when she cleared the yard fence and hung
at a height of 20ft as she was positioned and placed on
to the waiting low loader.
I'm a big believer in not going to sea unless I know everything
works, how it's put together and what is where. So began
the removal and striping out of all the previous work.
In other words, gradually reducing the asset value until
just an empty shell remained. Then the start of the rebuild,
which for various reasons included some serious abortive
work, which later had to be removed. Although this work
was not carried out by amateurs it was fundamentally flawed.
"Phyllis" was originally gaff cutter rigged
and with a lifting keel, but she was bermudan rigged
with a cast iron keel when I found her. With some good
luck the aluminium
mast and sails were sold and a wooden mast, boom, gaff
and sails procured from a sister vessel in the same
RMRC class, "Avis" which was in the process,
sadly, of being broken up. During our research it came
that "Avis" was indeed the first of the class
which made it even more poignant when we found that
out but it was good to know that "Phyllis" will
have been restored using some spars from the
of the class.
Interestingly this rigging traveled from Skippool Creek
to Cheshire and back again. The rigging was to return
some 3 years later to the same boatyard when it was decided
real master craftsman and shipwright on the job, David
It was David who showed us that the vessel had been
poorly converted to a cruising yacht and that it would
probably be best
to return her to her former glory.
"Phyllis" has been placed on the National
Boat Register (R1387) as a vessel of special
maritime historical interest, she is carvel built,
pitch pine on oak frames.